Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Taking a Project Team Through the Four Stages of Team Development

Brad Egeland of PMTips.net has a clear outline of what managers must do when they've been assigned a new project management team.

The forming stage

A newly formed team needs considerable structure, or it will not be able to get started. A leader who fails to provide such structure may be rejected by the group, which will then look for leadership from someone else. A directive style of leadership is called for in the forming stage.

During the forming stage, members also want to get to know each other and want to understand the role each member will play in the team. The leader must therefore help team members get to know each other and to understand clearly the team’s goals, roles, and responsibilities. One error that may be made by very task-oriented leaders is to tell the team to “get to work,” without helping members get to know each other; such leaders tend to view purely “social” activities as a waste of time. It should be obvious, however, that it is hard to see yourself as a team when you don’t know some of the “players.”

Getting the team started with a kick-off party or dinner is one way to let members get to know one another in a purely social way, with no pressure to perform actual task work. If this is not feasible, you must find some mechanism for letting people get to know one another.

We encourage you to read the rest of Lewis' post by clicking here.

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